Yesterday I went with 'Bici y Montaña', a group led by Jorge de Avila. It was a ride I had already done (albeit a little longer, from San Francisco to Valle de Bravo). This ride was graded for Begginers A, but Jorge posted he wanted everyone with at least a month riding in the mountains, or having already ridden with him. The ride was posted at being 30km, but it really was 35Km (according to my velocimeter). We were going to see the 'Mariposas Monarcas', or monarch butterflies.
For this ride, Octavio and Gabriela decided to come with me. Octavio is a long time friends (we went to school together), and Gaby was a friend I met online, and she also decided to come to the ride.
I picked up Gaby and went to Jorge's place (where a bus was going to pick us up). We arrived a little before 9am, we proceded to get all the bikes ready, preped and I think we finaly left there at 9:40 or so. We had to go through rush hour in Toluca, and we got to the trailhead by 11:30. By 12:00 we were ready, and got the first mechanical. Another Jorge had his fork seals blown just when he started to roll! He decided to lock the fork (that's the second hardfront bike I've known, shame it was a Fork rigid fork this time).
Well, we starting heading up, we started with a little climb (actually, most of the way was downhill, since it was a ride for starters). In this section we got to se a lot of butterflies just single or having group flights. We got another two mechs, a chain fell off and had to be put again, and a flat.
We head for about a mile or so. After that hill, we started going down. Boy, was there a spec of dust! You couldn't see the road for the dust you created. We had some wind blowing from behind, so the dust cloud actually caught up with us. Most of us had to ride Ninja style (some said it was more of a 'zapatista' style).
After this section, we got to the road where I had ridden. The difference between the 'normal' ride, and this 'light' one, was a 7 km climb.
We started riding along the fireroad through some very impressive valleys. Now, the attractin of this ride is not the technical side, since most of it is easy, but the views are pretty much impresive. We got to the first dam, we got to wait for the rest of the group here. After the whole group caught up (we were around 26 riders), we continued to the second dam, where we did a group photo.
By then, a rider was already lagging behind. She still had good enthusiasm, and we didn't know how tired she was by then, I think.
We entered through some woods, crossed some valleys until we got to 'Capilla Vieja'. This was our lunch stop. Usually we stopped there for around 30 minutes, but Jorge decided to make it shorter since the ride pace was slower than what he expected. We had ridden for around 15 km by then.
We continued going, another mechanical, a guy lost and found a bolt holding his crankarm to the BB. After fixing, we continued. There was a nice singletrack section that I was looking forward to doing, since I wanted comming down a section I had walked the previous times. But Jorge decided to keep on wide roads for the group.
The girl that was slowing us up, went more tired, and kinda scared of the rocks and stuff. Ooops! Then we found out that it was her first time at the mountain (I think it will be her last ). A friend from her office invited her, I think she had told him she did spinning and she was ready. I don't know why this guy invited her since she had no experience at the mountain, and he had already made that ride previously and knew how it was.
At this point, it was pretty much everything downhill. She was pretty much tired and scared of the downhill, so she walked. By the time we started the downhill section, it was around 3:30pm, and we were just halfway through (we expected sundown by 6-6:30pm, so there was a time frame we needed to go.
It was kinda of frustrating, we got a 1km ride, and had to wait for 10-15 minutes for her to come down. One of Jorge's kid had to ride both his and her bike so she wouldn't have to carry the bike. She started with a good attitude, but then she started to become angry and frustrated, and, justifiably, just wanted to get home. But there was no way to have a taxi or something to pick her up. As soon as possible, one of the guides found a pick up that agreed to ride her to the nearest taxi. What irks me is that she was pissed at Jorge and said that we didn't had any patience with her. She went without reading before the ride description, she latter told that the last time she had done spinning was about 3 months before, her friend invited her without really knowing how she rode. The way I see it, it was both her friends and her fault that she wasn't ready. We did a lot of stops for her, and tried to accomody her. But I don't know what she expected from us. I think she was just frustrated and wanted to vent on someone, and we just were the closest ones.
Anyway, after the pick up took her, we just went through the fasted route so that the night wouldn't caught up with us. Unfortunately, it did. Fortunately, it was pretty close to our destination, and it was a cloudless night and the moon was kind enough to provide enough light for us to finish the ride. I enjoyed the ride, all in all.
We had some tacos and micheladas (oh, they tasted great after the ride). Then we rode to the bus and arrived at Jorge's site by 12.
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